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AN AGROECOLOGICAL BASIS TO DESIGN AND IMPLEMENT A HABITAT MANAGEMENT STRATEGY TO ENHANCE BIOLOGICAL CONTROL IN AGROECOSYSTEMS

Authors
Publisher
Agroecología
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Monocultivo
  • Insectos Plaga
  • Enemigos Naturales
  • Control Biológico
  • Biodiversidad
  • Monoculture
  • Insect Populations
  • Natural Enemies
  • Pest Management
  • Biodiversity
Disciplines
  • Agricultural Science
  • Biology
  • Design
  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Medicine

Abstract

Since the onset of agricultural modernization, farmers and researchers have been faced with a main ecological dilemma arising from the homogenization of agricultural systems: an increased vulnerability of crops to insect pests and diseases, which can be devastating when infesting uniform crop, large scale monocultures. This paper explores practical steps to break the monoculture and thus reduce their ecological vulnerability, by restoring agricultural biodiversity at the field and landscape level. The most obvious advantage of diversifi cation is enhanced environmental opportunities, thus enhancing biological pest control. The paper focuses on ways in which biodiversity can contribute to the design of pest-stable agroecosystems by creating an appropriate ecological infrastructure within and around cropping systems. Selected studies reporting the effects of intercropping, cover cropping, weed management, agroforestry and manipulation of crop-fi eld border vegetation on insect pests and associated natural enemies, paying special attention to understanding the mechanisms underlying pest reduction in diversifi ed agroecosystems. This refl ection is fundamental if habitat management through vegetation diversifi cation is to be used effectively as the basis of Ecologically Based Pest Management (EBPM) tactics in sustainable agriculture.

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